©MORPHtopia 2020

LOCATION Bolognia, Italy PROGRAM Installation, Display YEAR 2018 STATUS  Competition CLIENT  Foundation Fashion Research Italy

Meta-Wall is a compendium of ideas, purposes, intentions and ambitions that manifest into a single design for a display wall that hosts 30 photographs of Starlettes – female actresses that once dreamt with fame and popularity, but whose desires never came true -. The pavilion plays with such duality in many different ways:
-it confronts the aspirations of fame as a chimera with the naked truth of the failure,
-it blends the worlds of cinema and fashion into one new emergent entity,
-it embodies the actresses on one hand and their dresses, on the other in order to compose the complete figure of the starlette.
-it interlocks gradients of regular to free-form shapes made out of glass fiber reinforced concrete (GFRC) and stainless-steel structures.

Rather than competing to each other, such dual relations enter into a feedback loop, in which element X influences element Y and at the same time X is influenced by Y. A seduction mode. This interrelation (here named as internal endo-relation between two entities) produces an outcome with two major conditions: a) the immanent emergent properties of a wall that is bigger than the sum of their parts and b) something more transcendent that the wall as a whole. The combination of a+b produces a third wall, which is not (only) the whole or the parts of the wall, but rather the meta-wall. This design discourse is highly influenced by G. Deleuze, G. Harman or L. Bryant’s philosophies, whose flat ontology is architecturally here presented as a set of different materialites and discrete entities that exist equally but differently.

These design concepts are materialised in a wall that rejects the traditional and simple two-sided displayer. On the contrary, and for the purpose of a continuous flow for the exhibition, the free of corners Meta-Wall blends into a curvature that adapts to the dimensions of the given room. All the photographs appear at the same eye-level and are placed all the way along the perimeter in a regular continuous sequence, which creates a direct contrast with the organic and changing forms of the background. The Meta-Wall starts on one side as a regular massive curved GFRC wall that morphs and disintegrates while it moves towards the opposite side. There, the Meta-Wall starts as a simple stainless-steel wireframe that becomes dense and more intricate towards the opposite direction. Every single point in-between offers a new condition where to display a new starlette. Following the topic of the competition brief, one may see how entity X, and all what represents, “seducts” entity Y and vice versa.

Technically speaking, the project offers a series of challenges to be remarked: while the stainless-steel parts can be easily fabricated following standard methodologies of bending and welding bars, the complex forms of the glass fiber reinforced concrete would request a specific fabrication process: one-use foam blocks would be individually milled with a CNC machine or robot arm and stacked to create the formwork. In order to make the GFRC lighter, another layering of milled foam would be placed in the core of the piece. Once the exterior and interior formworks are ready, GFRC mixture would be poured, cured and demolded. Both stainless-steel and GFRC piece would be prefabricated in a workshop, transported to the site and assembled in the exhibition area.
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